Many times now I’ve seen a particular tidying up book pop up in my social media feeds. When I first saw the title, I admit, I wasn’t sure what it’s greater purpose was. I didn’t understand why it was gaining popularity. I wasn’t sure how it could be applied to my life and my things and why I needed to spend my time reading it. (I sound so selfish!)
And then my friend Rhiannon said she was reading it and enjoying it. So, I did a little research and came to the conclusion this book scared me a little because it would force me to fully evaluate what we keep in our home (along with WHY). Suddenly I felt like I had to read it, too!
You may remember three years ago our family moved to Los Angeles. I was newly pregnant with Maxwell, and when we arrived here we had just a few things with us. And I literally mean just a few: a few boxes and duffel bags in our Jeep, plus a couple boxes shipped via the postal service.
What we have in our Los Angeles home has (perhaps) even greater meaning than ever before, because we literally had to save our money to buy it. Simple things, like bath towels and a mattress and bed frame, a work desk and a couch and an end table, lamps and clothing hangers, kitchen utensils and cookware. We went without for months until we could afford to buy it with cash. (And some of that is still true today.)
Reading this book has helped me to realize I’ve placed way too high of value on the things we keep in our home — even if we don’t need it, use it, or like it.
Not too long after we arrived in Los Angeles we had our first baby. And then we moved to a slightly larger apartment. And then we had a second baby. I’ve started a business, put a business on pause, and have re-opened a business. In the meantime, we’ve accumulated more and more and more and more. Paper work and blankets and mugs and clothes and baby items and towels and sets of dishes and craft materials and extra furniture. Should I keep going? Someone stop me.
Our home, in all it’s simple living-ness, is wonderful at helping us to use it’s space well overall, but it’s made us (me?) cram in way more than necessary. Our bedroom and linen closets are so generous in size that they are able to house multiple categories of items, making them look and feel unorganized. There’s too much “stuff” in there, without a clear definition of What and Why. And I think this can apply to every home out there, not just smaller-sized homes or larger homes.
In fact, it’s not even about the size of our home, but rather the atmosphere we want to nurture inside our home.
I think what resonated with me the most is when Marie (the author) shared clutter happens when an item is either too hard to put away or has an unclear storage location.
I actually listened to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up through Audible while running with the kids. It took me four days, but I felt inspired after just 30 minutes. Pretty amazing.
My friend Joanna shared she loves to read because it gives her something to talk about with her husband, aside from their children. Do you see me nodding my head? Maybe you’re nodding your head, too.
What do you want to change about the way your family uses your home?
I’m maybe three-quarters through tidying-up our home and already have thrown out four bags of trash, donated seven bags, and have sold a few things to speed up our debt payoff progress.
Are you thinking of moving soon? We don’t have any plans in the near future to move, but I know it will happen some day. When the time comes, the process of packing up our home will be so much easier because we won’t be packing, moving, and unpacking boxes and boxes things we don’t need, use, or like.
Or maybe you’re knee deep in paying off debt, like we are? Could you set aside a collection of items to sell that will help you either build your emergency fund or make an advance payment on a debt?
All you have to do is let go of the things that are holding you hostage in your own home.